Trevor Lawrence made a huge leap in Year 2 and helped the Jacksonville Jaguars make the playoffs last year, so it's only right that he's included in the top 10 of most quarterback rankings ahead of the 2023 season. In fact, Will Brinson of CBS Sports recently had high praise for the third-year signal-caller.
Brinson recently ranked every starting quarterback in the NFL by tiers and placed Lawrence, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, and Justin Herbert in the "could be elite next year" category, noting that all the passers in that tier are pretty good but are missing something to join the upper echelon.
"For Jackson, the pedigree is there as a former MVP and being locked in long term helps, as does the addition of Todd Monken as Ravens OC. Injuries are fair complaint here the last two seasons; it wouldn't shock me to see a monster year from Lamar and a quick move up. Herbert on the Chiefs probably gets him in the tier above; but the Chargers have a loaded roster and still can't get over the hump. Lawrence and Hurts each have just one year having taken big leaps forward. Hurts has a loaded roster around him and Lawrence has a pretty choice division to carve apart in the immediate future. "
As Brinson noted, Jackson was the league MVP in 2019 but his play has taken a considerable dip due to injuries and coaching over the last two years. Similarly, Herbert has put up good numbers throughout his career but has been held back by coaching and a lack of support from the Los Angeles Chargers. Then again, you could make the case that Lawrence is already better than both of them.
Just last year, the Jaguars beat Los Angeles twice and although Lawrence and Herbert didn't take the field at the same time, the former was able to elevate his team while the latter couldn't come through. Similarly, Jackson has not shown he can carry the Ravens on his shoulders with the game on the line. It's true that there are football is a team sport but quarterbacks have the biggest impact on the outcome of the game.
Lawrence showed last year that he can put the Jaguars on his back and get them out of tough spots. And heading into Year 3, he's expected to be even better. The only three quarterbacks that made tier one in Brinson's ranking were Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, and the non-Jaguar Josh Allen.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence can join the elite category in 2023
Sometimes terms such as elite or shutdown cornerback are diluted. You can't have 15 elite quarterbacks in the NFL because if everyone is elite, then nobody really is. Having said that, Lawrence is slowly joining the conversation and has a realistic shot at being in the MVP conversation next season. While he still has to prove last year wasn't a fluke, he's got the talent to pick up where he left off last year and help the Jaguars make a deep playoff push.
Not only will Lawrence have a stronger grasp of Doug Pederson's system but the Jaguars also added Calvin Ridley to an already stacked wide receiver corps. Even though there's always a chance that the former Clemson Tiger will regress, it's hard to picture him taking a step back when you take into account how talented he is and the kind of support he's gotten from the organization.
Having said that, Brinson is right for including him on Tier 2. He's shown he can get it done but he now needs to prove he can do it on a yearly basis. Once he does, he can be considered an upper-echelon quarterback.